Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Junior High

Download PDF

Junior High Session

Malachi 3:19-20a
Luke 21:5-19


Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
O God, help us to stand firm in our faith and trust in you.
When faced with injustice, help us stand up for the rights of others.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is justice. To begin invite the young people to reflect on what human rights violations they learn about through the media. Invite the youngsters to brainstorm where they see injustice in the world and in their communities. Write down their responses. Discuss:

  • What are some basic human rights?
  • How can we show respect for the rights of all people?
  • When are the rights of people violated?
  • How can we stand up for the rights of others?

Allow time for discussion. Our faith teaches us to stand up for the rights of all people so that they can live with dignity and hope. The virtue of justice helps us to take a stand against injustice in our community and world.


Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading listen to the prophet Malachi who speaks about justice in the final days.

Read Malachi 3:19-20a.

Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • What does the prophet reveal about the final days?
  • What will happen to evildoers?
  • What will happen to the righteous?

In the Gospel today listen to what Jesus tells his followers about the end times.

Read Luke 21:5-19.

Allow for silence.

  • What does Jesus tell his followers about the end times?
  • What do the people ask Jesus about the end times?
  • What warning does Jesus give?
  • How does Jesus offer hope and reassurance?


Scripture Background

Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings.

The Old Testament reading today calls to mind the end times. Malachi is writing for a growing number of people who are straying away from God. This passage gives the people a wake up call to examine their lives and get back on track morally. The prophet speaks of a coming “day of the Lord,” which will bring judgment upon them, punishing the guilty and rewarding the just. The symbol of the sun hints that evildoers will be burnt and the righteous healed on the day when the Lord comes.

In the gospel Jesus predicts the terrifying events of the end times. Jesus tells of the destruction of the beautiful temple and of wars, earthquakes, famines and plagues. Believers will be persecuted because of Jesus’ name. Jesus warns listeners not to be led astray.

Yet, amidst these devastating predictions Jesus offers his followers reassurance and hope. Out of persecution comes the opportunity for believers to testify and stand up for their faith. The faithful have reason to trust in Jesus who will provide words of wisdom. Even in the face of death Jesus promises that “not a hair of your head will be harmed.”


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • What is your understanding of the end times?
  • What helps you get through hard times?
  • How do these readings offer hope?

[If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.]


Doctrinal Discussion Starters


As Catholic Christians we are called to work for justice. Working for justice includes standing up for the rights of all people so that they can live with dignity and hope. Pope John XXIII outlined basic human rights as the right to life and a worthwhile manner of living, the right which respects one’s person regardless of sex, ethnic background, religion or nationality, the right to freely pursue and express the truth, the right to a basic education, the right to worship, the right to gainful work, decent working conditions and proper compensation, the right to meet and associate, and the right to emigrate (Richard P. McBrien, Catholicism, New Edition, Harper SanFrancisco, p944).

Justice is a quality of faithful persons who love God and therefore love their neighbor. Justice is the virtue that helps us work for changes in our community and world in order to protect the rights of others. In the words of Pope Paul VI: “If you want peace, work for justice.”

  • What organizations exist to help protect the rights of others?
  • How does the Church help to promote justice throughout the world?
  • How can you stand up for the rights of the poor?


The Gospel in Life

How can you work for justice in your community?


Connection to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, theme 13
Junior High, Morality, chapter 5
Junior High, Church History, chapter 11

Posted in: Sessions C